Gun control activists are pushing to raise the age for purchasing a gun to 21 in the wake of the Parkland, Florida shooting. But some are now drawing attention to the inconsistency that many of the gun control proponents who don’t want those under 21 buying guns are fine with them setting up our gun laws.
Liberals are infatuated with the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The traumatized survivors are lining up to use the national spotlight to advocate for more gun control. These victims almost seem like teen idols of the mainstream media as they work together to become a catalyst for change in the gun debate.
Because of the popularity of these new media darlings, there is even some talk of lowering the voting age to 16 so their thoughts on gun control don’t go to waste and they can push for state and national legislators who will follow their lead.
Laurence Steinberg wrote an op-ed in The New York Times on Sunday. He’s a Temple University psychology professor. Along with liberal radio talk host Dean Obeidallah, they believe that the kids deserve the right to decide the fate of the lawmakers who are allegedly endangering them by not passing more gun laws.
But where is the consistency? These same advocates are nearly unanimous in their view that the legal age for purchasing a weapon should be raised from 18 to 21.
Gun control proponents, as well as the media, immediately recognized that as both survivors and good-looking kids, there were no better spokespersons for their point of view than these students. The young survivors played a key role in a CNN town hall on the issue where they bullied Republican Sen. Marco Rubio and seemed ready to dismantle NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch point by point.
These traumatized kids marched on Tallahassee seeking to corner the Florida state legislature into banning rifles labeled as assault weapons.
In a culture bent on attacks, these teens were praised by the left but faced outrageous charges from the right that they were in fact actors hired by gun control lobbyists.
This intense climate caused some of the Parkland Kids to call the NRA “a haven for child killers” or Nazis. This is what happens in a culture where teens come of age in the era of Twitter.
In Steinberg’s op-ed in The New York Times, he maintained that lowering the voting age is based on psychological arguments about the “cold cognitive” decision making abilities of teens to make rational voting choices — as opposed to the “hot cognitive” skills involved in using firearms.
But many believe that this distinction is just false. And many detractors note that the liberal news media has made no effort to find thoughtful teens who may disagree with the Parkland media darlings. No-one seems to be noting that the teens speaking so loudly about gun control come for a deep blue Florida district.
When the last lowering of the federal age for voting happened in 1971, and the age went from 21 to 18, the youth of America didn’t rise up for the Democratic agenda. They didn’t support George McGovern and they didn’t defeat Richard Nixon. It wasn’t the dawning of “the Age of Aquarius.” In fact, the Republicans won four of the next five presidential elections.
Anyone who follows mock elections will tell you that students of all ages tend to follow how their parents vote. That’s why the arguments about teenagers being just as fit to vote for our leaders as their elders are simply disingenuous.
The 26th Amendment to the Constitution gave the right to vote to 18-year-olds. It was rooted in a belief that Americans in that age bracket were fighting and dying for their country in Vietnam and they ought to have a right to decide who would send them to war.
If the gun control line of reasoning is ultimately followed, then we should also consider raising the driving age to 18 or 21. It is teen drivers who are far less safe than more experienced drivers and are responsible for more deaths and injuries than all the mass shooters of the last twenty years combined. Can you imagine how politically active teens would be if this legislation ever made it to the table?
Credit: The Federalist